Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Time Passes Slowly

My sweetheart and I
Enjoyed the country life. Now,
We just do our best.

“Time Passes Slow” is supposed to be one of the happy domesticity songs from the 1970 album “New Morning,” along with “If Not for You,” “Winterlude,” “New Morning,” “Sign on the Window” and “One More Weekend.” I find the song a little too uncertain to be an unequivocal endorsement and reflection on family life, which Dylan at the time of the writing of these songs was getting his fill of. In fact, the more I listen to it, the more I hear a contrast between how things are and how they were. Or maybe it’s not even the contrasts between times that is catching me. Maybe it’s this:

Up here in the mountains: time passes slowly, we sit and take walks in paradise, catch fish in the stream and lose ourselves in a dream. This sounds lovely.
Once, my sweetheart and I sat in her mother’s kitchen and gazed at the stars while she was cooking. Time was passing slowly then too, on the search for love. Very nice, but this is something that happened and is done.
No reason to go to town, the fair, up, down, or anywhere. Sounds nice.
Time still passes slowly. “We stare straight ahead and try so hard to stay right.” That to me sounds like an effort to retain the appearance of happiness. This is a key line to the haiku tone, as is the next line, which implies the end of something: “Like the red rose of summer that blooms in the day, time passes slowly and fades away.”

1 comment:

  1. Hello Robert, yes a deeper cut of music history with this Haiku. Follow us on twitter to listen to every version of every Bob Dylan song.